HIRC has engaged in direct appeals and filed amicus briefs on a variety of issues before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals. Listed below are examples of litigation related to Asylum, Crimmigration, and the Travel Ban.


Amicus curiae brief, U.T. et. al. v. Barr  (03/06/20)
This brief challenges the Asylum Cooperative Agreements with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador and argues against the designation of Guatemala as a “safe third country.”

Amicus curiae brief (1/22/20)
This brief challenges the expedited removal of bona fide asylum-seekers.

Amicus curiae brief (1/7/2020)
In this brief, HIRC and GBLS address the cognizability of “Salvadoran women” as a particular social group.

Amicus curiae brief (10/25/19)
This brief challenges a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision on a gender-based asylum claim.

BIA decision (1/09/19).
HIRC filed a petition for review challenging the Board’s denial of a motion to reopen a removal order. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the case to the Board, which reopened the case.

Amicus curiae briefIn the Matter of A-B- (3/7/18).
This brief argues that immutable characteristics like sex and gender are protected categories within the terms of the refugee definition.

Amicus curiae briefMaterial Support, BIA (4/10/17).
This brief submitted to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) argues that giving the word “material” independent meaning will help ensure that “bona fide” refugees who pose no threat to the U.S. and are otherwise eligible for refugee protection, are not barred from asylum and withholding of removal and in violation of the U.S. obligations under the Refugee Convention.

Amicus curiae briefs, Negusie v. Holder (2016, 2017)
These briefs argue that there should be a duress defense to the persecutor of other bars to asylum.

IJ DecisionMatter of D-P- (11/9/15)
HIRC and GBLS successfully argued that social activism against gangs constituted political opinion.

Ordonez-Quino v. Holder, 760 f. 3d 80 (First Circuit, 2014), (7/23/14).
This decision of the First Circuit Court of Appeals found past persecution in the case of a Mayan man, based on the long history of genocide in Guatemala and related racist mistreatment.

Amicus curiae briefJose Fuentes Colocho v. United States Attorney General, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, (11/19/13).
This brief argues that MS-13 is a political entity and that Mr. Fuentes-Colocho’s opposition to MS-13 constitutes political opinion.

Mejilla-Romero v. Holder, 600 F.3d 63 (1st Cir. 2010), (8/6/2010)
This decision of the First Circuit Court of Appeals recognized the importance of a child-sensitive approach to asylum.


Amicus curiae briefMartinez Cedillo v. Sessions (11/1/18)
This brief asks the full court to reconsider its prior decision in a case that significantly expanded a specific crime-based deportation ground.

Amicus curiae brief, Marinelarena v. Sessions (6/29/18)
This brief argues that the immigration statute’s conviction definition should be interpreted so as not to frustrate federalism principles.

BIA Appeal, Redacted case name, (3/26/18).
The Crimmigration Clinic successfully argued before the Board of Immigration Appeals that their client’s conviction should not result in his detention and deportation.

Amicus curiae briefCommonwealth of Massachusetts v. Sreynuon Lunn (3/20/17).
This brief argues that Massachusetts does not have authority to arrest and detain an individual solely pursuant an ICE detainer.

Amicus curiae brief. [Redacted] v. Sessions (2/15/17)
This brief addresses the interpretation of a bar to asylum under U.S. and international law.

Immigrant Rights

Amicus curiae brief, Nasrallah v. Barr (12/16/19)
This brief, which was submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, argues that federal courts should be able to review removal orders against noncitizens with criminal backgrounds who fear persecution in other countries.

Amicus curiae brief, United States of America v. Shelley M. Richmond Joseph, (10/15/19)
This brief is in support of the motion to dismiss the obstruction of justice charges against a district court judge who allegedly helped an undocumented immigrant avoid ICE.

Travel ban

Amicus curiae brief, Donald J. Trump et al. v. State of Hawaii et al., U.S. Supreme Court (3/20/18).
This brief argues that the travel ban violates federal immigration statutes and is not based on any exigent situation involving diplomacy or military affairs.

Amici curiae brief, Donald J. Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, Donald J. Trump v. Hawaii, U.S. Supreme Court (9/18/17).
This brief argues that the Immigration and Nationality Act as a whole constrains the President’s power to suspend entry of “classes of aliens.”

Amicus curiae brief, International Refugee Assistance Project et al. v. Donald Trump (3/2/17).
This brief argues that the President does not have the authority to unilaterally reduce the number of refugees admitted to the United States in the middle of a fiscal year and without consultation with Congress.

Amicus curiae brief, Hameed Khalid Darweesh v. Donald Trump (2/16/17).
This brief argues that the President overstepped his authority when issuing the executive order concerning the Muslim ban.